Budget cuts may ax powerful telescopes

Nov 06, 2006

U.S. federal science officials said budget constraints may force the closure of the Arecibo dish and the Very Long Baseline Array telescope network.

A committee recommended the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va., shut down the Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico and the VLBA network by 2011 if it cannot find organizations willing to share annual operating costs of about $8 million and $11 million, respectively, NewScientist.com said. The closures were part of the committee's recommended $30 million reduction in the foundation's operating budget.

Scientists and researchers who operate both telescope programs said they would work to find others willing to assist financially, NewScientist.com said.

Arecibo is the world's most sensitive radio telescope, NewScientist.com said. The giant antenna is fixed, but the Earth's rotation on its axis and movement of a receiver suspended above the reflective dish allow it to scan about 40 percent of the sky over a year.

The VLBA is a network of 10 radio dishes stretching from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands, offering what scientists said is unmatched resolution at radio wavelengths, NewScientist.com said. The network led to discoveries of cosmic jets and studies of galaxies powered by black holes.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Europe postpones launch of first 'space plane'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hacker gets prison for cyberattack stealing $9.4M

1 hour ago

An Estonian man who pleaded guilty to orchestrating a 2008 cyberattack on a credit card processing company that enabled hackers to steal $9.4 million has been sentenced to 11 years in prison by a federal judge in Atlanta.

Remains of French ship being reassembled in Texas

2 hours ago

A frigate carrying French colonists to the New World that sank in a storm off the Texas coast more than 300 years ago is being reassembled into a display that archeologists hope will let people walk over ...

Icelandic volcano sits on massive magma hot spot

2 hours ago

Spectacular eruptions at Bárðarbunga volcano in central Iceland have been spewing lava continuously since Aug. 31. Massive amounts of erupting lava are connected to the destruction of supercontinents and ...

Magic Leap moves beyond older lines of VR

2 hours ago

Two messages from Magic Leap: Most of us know that a world with dragons and unicorns, elves and fairies is just a better world. The other message: Technology can be mindboggingly awesome. When the two ...

NBCUniversal settles with unpaid interns for $6.4M

3 hours ago

NBCUniversal will pay $6.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by unpaid interns who worked on "Saturday Night Live" and other shows who claim they are owed wages, according to court documents.

Recommended for you

Asteroid 2014 SC324 zips by Earth Friday afternoon

7 hours ago

What a roller coaster week it's been. If partial eclipses and giant sunspots aren't your thing, how about a close flyby of an Earth-approaching asteroid?  2014 SC324 was discovered on September 30 this ...

Who owns space?

8 hours ago

The golden age of planetary exploration had voyagers navigating new sea routes to uncharted territory. These territories were then claimed in the name of the monarchs who had financed the expeditions. All ...

User comments : 0